Choosing the perfect gift these days truly is an art form. How much should I spend? Is it appropriate? Is it boring? Will it meet their expectations? Should I consider the ethical and environmental aspects? (Yes). Is it enough? Is it too much?
It’s a minefield.
So we’ve done our research and asked around to bring together some helpful pointers when it comes to choosing the ideal gift. Read on to become a gift-giving aficionado.
1. Don’t forget
Goes without saying really, but we said it anyway. Late gifts are better than nothing, but it ruins the effect somewhat. Giving someone a present on that special day, whatever the occasion, proves that you care enough to show-up on time.
2. Do shop small
Commercial giants like Amazon may be convenient, but do you really want to give your money to someone who’s going to spend it all on their space exploration midlife crisis? Supporting small businesses, and local businesses is a way of investing in the economy, growth and diversity of your own community... Instead of a worryingly phallic-looking space rocket for Jeff.
3. Don’t get caught up on cost
Sometimes we’re tempted to splurge in an effort to show someone how much we care about them. Money may be the language of love for some people, but for most, research has shown that it truly is the thought that counts.
4. Do consider the environmental cost
We don’t want to be preachy or send anyone on a guilt trip. It’s just not helpful. But, if you can source a gift from a brand that has a conscience when it comes to ethics and the environment, that makes it all the better. That’s another great reason to shop small - it’s much easier to have clarity about where they stand on these issues. Some of the bigger brands can be pretty sneaky with their greenwashing marketing tactics.
5. Don’t worry about being unique
When it comes to choosing presents, we often want to choose something original. Something to surprise the recipient. Something they didn’t expect. But sometimes, that gift that everyone wants or has, is just exactly what your recipient wants as well.
Getting caught-up on being unique, original or overly specific to the individual might prevent you from giving the recipient something they actually want. Trust us, there’s been studies on it.
6. Do consider shared interests
A great place to start when you’re choosing a present for someone is to think about what you’ve got in common. It’s often easier to choose something for yourself, so if you have something in common you’re more likely to know what makes a great gift in that respect.
Got an ‘in’ joke at work? Do you share a love of fine food and drink? Perhaps you’re both into home interiors and creating a beautiful space to live in. Focus on what you share and pick a gift from there.
7. Don’t give cash
You’re not paying them a wage, you’re giving them a present. Money’s great for kids and teenagers who don’t tend to be cash-rich, and appreciate the opportunity to buy something for themselves. But for adults, it kind of sends the message that you don’t really know them well enough (or can’t be bothered) to choose a gift for them.
Gift vouchers on the other hand are a great balance between thoughtfulness and giving someone the gift of choosing their own present.
8. Do gift a candle!
Let us just take this opportunity to shamelessly plug our recycled candles. To be totally honest, it’s the main reason we wrote this whole article in the first place (as you probably already suspected).
If you think about it though, our recycled candles pretty much fit the bill when it comes to the Do's and Don'ts of gifting. Handmade by a small business, kind to the environment and thoughtful gifts that pretty much everyone can enjoy (though admittedly not the ideal gift for small children or pets).